Ten Reasons: Autumn is Bloody Brilliant

I cannot believe it is the last day of August. To me that says it’s the last day of summer and we are now going to have to resign ourselves to the fact that bare legs and flip flops are no longer acceptable. And dig out those sweatshirts, wooly tights and boots. (YES!!)

I love autumn, because you get all the good parts of winter without freezing your tits off. (That’s a technical term by the way for the temperature dropping below 5 degrees celsius).
Thought I’d treat us all to a listicle of why we should look forward to autumn and wave goodbye to summer.

Ten Reasons Why Autumn is Bloody Brilliant.
1) Telly gets good on a Saturday again. Apart from the fact that Harry Potter has been shown all summer there is absolutely naff all to look forward to. I don’t care if you love or hate X-factor, its part of British law that on a Saturday : “Thou shalt sit down with a takeaway and listen to Simon Cowell insult people.”

2) Covering body parts. Hurray! It is no longer acceptable for Mr Smith down the road to walk to the shop with his hairy back and beer belly out! And you don’t have to worry about ‘slimming for that summer body’ rubbish anymore. Do you know why? Because it’s going to be covered in 300 layers of wool! Another positive is because you’re legs are thick with tights and jeans you can go a few more days without shaving your legs and no one will know. I won’t tell if you don’t!

3) Stews. YES OMGOMGOMG. I can stick some veg and meat and gravy in a slow cooker, go to work and that is acceptable to eat for the next three days. I will eat stew until it comes out of my eyeballs. I don’t ever get bored, this week its chicken, next it’s beef, I’m having this one with Yorkshire puds, tomorrow dumplings… amazing! So many options. I think I’m going to bring out a stew recipe book because I just think it’s so underrated! Easy and healthy **

**healthy if you don’t stick loads of gravy in it or have your bowl made up of 75% dumpling.

4)Flavours. This seems a bit weird but you can guarantee that September rolls around, and all the good flavoured stuff comes out. Costa and Starbucks start doing pumpkin and cinnamon and ginger and all that jazz. And my mum shouts at me for this but all the good flavoured candles come out too!(“They are called scents Rochelle, not flavours!”” Yeah yeah.)

5) Dark nights. YEY! On one night in October we get an extra hour in bed and I won’t feel guilty going to bed at 8pm because its dark outside! You’re allowed! And dark nights mean its getting a little colder so I can finally put my heating on. (I’ve been freezing for about 2 months but its not acceptable to have your heating on Summer and people judge you alot.)

6) I don’t have to paint my toe nails until next March because I will be living in tights and boots. I won’t even know what my feet look like. I will put socks on in a morning, come home and replace socks with slippers and then the cycle repeats. Im glad I don’t have hairy toes because by the time spring came around I’d be tripping over it haha!

7)Halloween. I absolutely love halloween. I love a good halloween night out, and going out looking as ugly as I possibly can and not caring! I also really like sweets and everyone has sweets around halloween time! Last year I went out at zombie Beauty from Beauty and the beast and let me tell you, I did not look beautiful. My friend spent about 2 hours doing my make up to look like I’d been killed by the beast, and I had black contacts in which had dried up half way through the night and were just scratching my iris but I still had the best night!

8) Bonfire Night. Martin think’s I’m a bit sad because all fireworks are the same ra ra ra… but I love fireworks. I always get all goosebumpy and emotional when I watch them. I also really like hotdogs… haha why does everything seem to revert back to food with me?? Anyway yeah hotdogs, toffee apples, burgers, jacket potatoes.

9) You are one season away from Christmas! YEYYY. I love Christmas. I love buying Christmas presents and that’s socially acceptable in autumn too because all the christmassy bits come out in the shops! I saw a Christmas tree in a pub a couple of days ago and we are in August so another two weeks and I will be knee deep in tinsel I’m sure of it!

10) I’m combining a few more of my favourite things but under the collective header of nature! Conkers, fallen leaves and spiders. Right… hear me out, I am not the biggest fan of spiders but do you know what I hate more? Mosquitoes and moths and daddy longlegs and when the spiders come back the flies piss off! Good Riddance! I am sick of being bitten from head to toe! The fallen leaves still look pretty and haven’t turned into a stodgy mess yet and I miss conker collecting so so much!!

One Day

I absolutely love the book and film ‘One Day’ (yes even Anne Hathaway’s terrible English accent) I can read that book over and over and cry at it every single time.

Basically the premise of the story is that the lives of Dexter and Emma are documented on the same day every year. I won’t go into any spoilers in case any of you haven’t read or seen the book/film (Why?).

This book is the one of the only thing my Dad and I truly bonded over because he absolutely loves it too. He read it for the first time about two years ago and we still talk about it over breakfast to this day.

So this post I’m going to show you one photo from August (I can’t be that good where I share the same day, past Rochelle wasn’t that organised) to see how much I have changed or grown etc.

Just tried to log in to bebo to see if I could go REALLLY far back but thats not a thing any more?!! Waahhh. I have no idea where those horrendous photos will end up. Probably resurface in 30 years time when duck faces, peace signs and taking the photo from a really high angle are back in fashion. *covering face in shame *

….Okay; just spent a good fifteen minutes searching for pictures and I’ve found some right corkers. I’ll be honest it’s pretty embarrassing but hey ho! Here we go.

August 2008.Aug 2008

This was my profile picture to everything. MSN, Bebo, Myspace, Facebook. I thought I was cool. I thought the angle and lighting was flattering. I didn’t notice my Dad’s bathroom products behind me, sexy.

August 2009
Aug 2009

Well this was my first house party that my mum let me have, and she manned the whole thing. At one point she said she counted 50 people in the back garden. By this point I’d finished school with some good grades and was looking forward to college for a fresh start. I’d had the worse end of year at school because of rumours etc and I’d just learnt how fun alcohol was and wahhh. Downward spiral!!

August 2010
Aug 2010

I’d learnt to drive in the July which was pointless because I was always out drinking at weekends and not allowed to drive (because drink driving is awful and I hate it!) My good GCSE grades were slowly slipping into average A level grades because I’d worked out that having a social life was much more fun. As you can see from the picture I’d also found out about hair extensions and eye liner. Infact eyeliner was the be all and end all. Every part of my bedroom carpet at the time was plastered in little blackouts from where I had sharpened the pencil and left shavings everywhere. My mum must have LOVED this phase.

August 2011Aug 2011

Awwwh I like this photo. I was on my way to uni to have a look around and meet some people. By this point I’d found out I was going to Leeds met. I’d stepped my game up and got some good A level grades. I had started going out with someone from Leeds (which ended not that long after this picture was taken actually!) and I’d just started my job in Leeds ready for Uni. Moving out from my mums was the saddest and hardest thing I ever did. I remember crying all the way up the M62 uncontrollably and feeling incredibly lost without her.

August 2012Aug 2012

I’d finished my first year of university, and had the time of my life. I also had a summer job and met a lot of good people who I still class as best friends now. Even though we don’t see each other much I know that when I do see them we can pick up exactly where we left off. This picture was taken by my friend Emma when I’d taken her to Leeds for a big weekend Sesh. Sesh meaning one night, then we were done in and spent the rest of the weekend in a little nest recovering. I though by this age I’d have maybe grown out of duck face pouting but obviously not.

Aug 2013Aug 2013

Left university, got a job as a bar maid/journalist/jewellery shop assistant and then quit all of those to run my own pub. MENTAL! So obviously because I’m such a grown up with my own business I chopped all of my hair off and gone all professional. This was my linked in photo for ages.

Rochelle Hughes, Entrepreneur.

HAHAHA, I ran the local pub, and I absolutely loved it. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t want that stress now, but the experience was amazing. Me and my mum grew really close too which I loved.

August 2014Aug 2014

Just got back from Las Vegas, which was the most mental experience ever. This year I also lost the pub and got it back and in the middle of that became an account manager… crazy few months but back in the pub and was loving it!

August 2015
Aug 2015

Ok so time to be honest. There was no picture from August 2015. There was a huge chunk of social media missing from July 2015 – October 2015 because I was so so depressed. I was in a job I absolutely hated, I wasn’t happy in a relationship I was in and I struggling with money. I hated the way I looked because I’d put on so much weight and every day was a struggle. So this picture here is from July 2015. I was on a hen do for a girl at work and I had such a good night with these girls even though I made an absolute TIT of myself and was the laughing stock for weeks! Such a good night.

August 2016
Aug 2016

I lost some weight, and became an independent woman! Learnt to love myself and was lucky enough to get my little fur baby Henry. I started at a different job closer to home and felt a bit better work wise. Dyed my hair purple and stuck a big middle finger up to the world. INDEPENDENT WOMAN I DON’T NEED NO MAN.

August 2017Aug 2017

So in November it turned out I wasn’t that independent, I didn’t know I needed anyone until I met Martyn and realised he was everything I was missing. So in this picture I am on the way to bingo with my friend who I’d not seen in ages. I’m so so so happy and I have to pinch myself that this is all real. I finally landed my permanent job in journalism. I have Martyn who means the world to me. I have my mum who is such a big help to me with Henry while I’m at work and I could not ask for more.

So there you go. Can’t believe how different these pictures are they are crazy!

Six Relatable Moments for Twenty-Somethings.

I had a moment earlier this week that happens to other people and I always think they are taking the Mickey.
I forgot how old I was.

My mum has genuinely rang me (on several occasions) and said “Rochelle? How old am I again? I cant remember?” And I’ve told her, and then thought silly sod who forgets their age?
This week it happened. I could not remember.

And I blame it on ages not being significant for decades at a time.
So when you are 10 its all oooh double figures, 13 oooh you’re a teenager. 16 ooh you can legally have… a lottery ticket. 17 oooh you can drive. 18 oooh you can drink. 21 key to the door.

I’m 24 (I’ve worked it out… eventually) So for three years I’ve had bog standard birthday ages. You don’t get a birthday party for 23, or a novelty cake for 24. And now its dawned on me, in six months time I’m no longer in my “early twenties”. I’ll be half way to fifty, in my late twenties.

So in honour if this realisation I’ve decided to write down SIX significant things that I think all “early twenties” will relate to.
1) Your friend group gets suddenly shorter smaller thinner and that is OK.
Believe me I know everyone says this but it really is quality over quantity. I definitely don’t have a huge group of friends but I have some people that I know it doesn’t matter what crisis I’m in they will always be just a phone call away. Or a text if I’m feeling particularly vulnerable.
2) You become more comfortable in your skin. So what if you only get 2 likes on your Facebook status and one of them is your mum, you posted it because you liked it. You wore that outfit because you feel nice in it not because you are trying to impress anyone.

3) You have the “What the hell am I doing with my life” meltdown at some point. And if you don’t have that meltdown you’re a liar.
4) You and the people you used to get pissed with start doing grown up things, like getting married, buying houses moving abroad, having babies, getting careers. And it’s scary. These are the people you shared a bottle of cider on a field with, copied homework off, signed their shirt in permanent marker so it stained their skin and now they are adults, wearing suits and making little people. It’s scary and creepy and weird and I don’t feel old enough!
5) You finally know what it’s like to be skint. And I mean SKINT! I once lived for a week on 94p. And that saying £1000 is not a lot of money to have but is a lot of money to owe is so so true. I could quite easily squander away £1000 on cleaning products, home decor and clothes in one good shopping session but if I owed it, it would probably take me about a year to pay back!
6) Everything aches. I can’t go a day without making some oooh ahhh sound. And hangovers, they last days and days and days. And going on a school night is ALWAYS a rocky error and you will feel it for days afterwards.

 

 

Ten Things That Make Me Irrationally Angry

I’ve been suffering lately with some anger issues. I spent tonight with my friend ranting and moaning and to be honest I was quite glad she felt the same. Now let me tell you, I do not get mad about rational things, oh no. I get mad at irrational things that should just skim over my head.

So here are ten things that are making me irrationally angry at the moment:

  1. Magpies. I am sick to death of saluting those black and white beaky buggers. I wish they would just find a partner or three so i didn’t have to salute and say “Hi Mr Magpie, How’s the family?” midway through sentences like an absolute looney. In fact I’m not mad at the magpies. I’m mad at whoever it was that told me that stupid rule!
  2. Radio adverts. I don’t know who designs these adverts but I feel like they have a personal vendetta with me. I spend 2 hours a day in the car with the radio and all the stations play the adverts at the same time for starters. and then when i finally give in and listen to the adverts they are the most irritating people or songs. I know I’m not the only person that gets annoyed with this, I spoke to my friend and she confirmed I am not alone in this.
  3. My hair is at the shouldery length that doesn’t stay straight when you straighten it. I straighten it, it looks nice. I move a millimetre its kinked upwards. WHY! Why can’t you just stay where you’re supposed to! I had you cut to keep you in good condition can’t you just pay me a little respect?
  4. Facebook videos. I know i only have myself to blame but why do I go to bed early only to watch forty five videos and then look at the clock and its midnight! Why can’t I stop watching them? And some of them I’ve seen several times and I’m still there watching them and before I know it I’ve liked there pages watching their first video from 2008. and also a side note to Facebook videos, the 30 second advert I have to watch for the 8 second video. Really???
  5. When you only have one item and that person with the trolley load to feed a family of six doesn’t say “Would you like to go in front?” I understand it is not my god given right to go in front of them, I know they were here first but Jesus Christ I just want to get my milk and go home! (I have been told by Martyn that I am being ridiculous about this one. The conversation we had about this lasted the car journey home from the supermarket… where we chose the self serve…cos he didn’t want to wait….)
  6. That person at the petrol station that you are waiting behind. First of all they don’t pay at the pump, (getting a little mad but maybe he doesn’t have his card on him it’s okay Rochelle breathe) but then you spy them through the window buying crisps, and pop, AND A LOAF OF BREAD!! AND A MAGNUM! ARE YOU KIDDING ME MISTER! I WANT MY FUEL! Oh he’s here, wrong person phew.
  7. People who when they are in a queue, scotch up behind me even though i haven’t moved forward yet. You have just earnt yourself a longer wait because I am going to take my sweet ass time now thank you.
  8. This isn’t one that everyone can relate to I understand that but I’m sure there’s some people that can empathise. Number eight for me is people that call me Michelle. Now let me be clear there is nothing wrong with the name Michelle. But it is not my name. My name is ROchelle. And I correct people around 6758 times a week. It drives me insane so if anyone can tell me a way I can say my name differently so people don’t get confused that would be brilliant because I don’t know how I am going to cope.
  9. This happened to me this week and I’ve never been so angry. I got up, I got dressed and when downstairs. I fed Henry and stepped back and stepped in something wet. They were fresh tights. I stepped in egg. Now I have to go ALL the way back upstairs and change them and wash these ones! When did I spill egg!?!
  10. Middle-lane-hoggers. Oh yeah. You know who you are. If I’m catching you up in the slow lane guess what matey? You’re in the wrong effing lane. Move over or speed up. Because now I have to cross two lanes to overtake you and get back in the slow lane. So annoying and i will recite your registration number the whole time. I won’t do anything with it because I will immediately forget it the second I leave the car but be warned! I may one day remember!

That was like therapy! Felt so good getting all that off my chest. Please help me out and let me know that I am not the only one that gets angry over stupid things like this? Leave a comment!

Martyn will start you all off, he gets irrationally angry when I forget what I’m about to say.

Ten Things you will relate to if you’ve lived by yourself.

I am celebrating year two of living by myself.

I initially moved out with an ex boyfriend but that lasted all of two months and since then I have lived by myself.

Well I’ve had my pooch but basically on my own. I’ve learnt so much in those two years and it’s been a real eye opener but i wouldn’t change it for the world. And this little anniversary has inspired me to write a little blog to all you independent women out there, I know you’ll get this.

Ten things you will understand if you’ve ever lived by yourself.

  1. Naked runs become naked leisurely strolls. Who are you rushing for? Take your time, embrace your bare bum and stroll to the bedroom. I don’t even towel dry anymore. I just air dry. Maybe I shouldn’t have shared that…
  2. if you run out of toilet roll you are screwed. I’m sorry that so far these are just bathroom related things… but yeah if you run out of toilet roll, theres no shouting for help you are drip drying and finding it yourself. Gross but theres got to be some down sides…
  3. You can watch what you want, when you want and then when you have visitors who watch other things you resent them a little bit. “What do you mean you want to watch big bang theory? Coronation street is on!”
  4. Cooking is hard. Everything comes in pairs and you waste a lot of food. I  waste so much stuff that I’ve started to freeze milk… that is so sad. In fact when people visit they are pretty disappointed because I never have anything in.
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    This was my roast for one.

  5. You have to learn DIY quickly; and I’m not talking about becoming a great carpenter or electrician, I mean you have to learn which superglue to buy to stick  your curtain pole up quickly, or learn that blu-tac will keep that pesky opening cupboard shut. My boyfriend can vouch for my DIY skills.
  6. People who moan about paying lodge irritate the shit out of you. Oh you’re skint in your full time job where all you pay is £200 a month tell me how that hard is again?
  7. You aren’t scared of the dark at all… unless you have watched a scary movie on your own and realise you’re the perfect victim for a horror film and run to your bed and hide under the covers.
  8. Bedtime is weird, and even though you are by yourself you still have a stern word with yourself like you’re parents would have done if you were still at home.
  9. Cleaning is no longer a chore but just an everyday ritual without you even knowing your doing it. Apart from when you have to use a new dishcloth, that’s a good day. I like those days. Or when you find a new cleaning product on offer and you need to find excuse to try it out.
  10. Watching a TV series is fine because you haven’t got anyone getting mad that you’ve watched it without them or anyone wanting the TV while you are watching it.

So there you have it. I’m sure most people can relate. And I’m not saying I want to live on my own forever but I certainly can cope. You really do have to learn things along the way but I feel like I’m a more rounded person because of it. It’s really important to me before I make a decision to live with someone that I am doing it because I want to not because I have to and that’s why I believe everyone should live by themselves at some point, I don’t rely on anyone.**

**(maybe my mum buys me those pesky toilet rolls when I forget now and then but I have two toilets it’s hard to remember both!)

Reverse Bucket List.

I am always trying to aspire to be more than what I am. The problem I seem to have is nothing is ever good enough, I want something, I get it, and then I want more. But I am trying my upmost to feel satisfied with what I have and make sure that I don’t rush and wish my life away. So that was my inspiration for this blog.

This is my reverse bucket list.

I have SOOO much I want to achieve but instead of wanting and hoping and wishing I’m going to take a step back and appreciate what I have already accomplished.

  1. I went to Florida and visited Disney Land. For those of you who have read my blog why you should visit a medium will know that I didn’t stay there for long but the fact is I went and it was as magical and wonderful as you could believe.883085_118021838382842_1884429123_o
  2. I adopted a dog. Well this might be a cheat but my mum and my grandad adopted him for me when I was 7. He was one when we got him and he lived to be 14. He was called Spot and I loved him more than anything. We went everywhere together and he was my best friend for those 13 years.894719_123885607796465_82607139_o
  3. I bagged my dream job. I worked my bum off and pestered and pestered and finally it paid off. I’m now a reporter and currently right at this moment (July 2017) I am taking some exams which will eventually once the course has finished, give me my qualification in Journalism! (if you wanna be a journalist read this!18446653_693246680867164_1644912331334507072_n
  4. Visited Grand Canyon. Well actually I did more than visit it, I got the opportunity to fly over the Grand Canyon, in a helicopter. It was the most amazing experience, made only more memorable by the fact I was extremely hungover and travel sick. Believe it or not a strawberry milkshake before a choppy helicopter ride was not the best of ideas! The pilot played Coldplay:  Speed of sound as we flew over the edge and the ground just disappeared  – truly amazing.Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 13.09.54
  5. Been to Paris and climbed the Eiffel Tower. I also saw the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées and it was absolutely stunning. Paris is still on my bucket list as I went on a school trip and I’d really love to go there with my boyfriend. I hope he reads this. YOOHOO this is a hint! Haha!eiffel-tower-2112173_1280
  6. Drove down Route 66. I shouldn’t really admit to this because it was not my name on the hire car but my friend who I went with was tired so I took over and it was amazing! Route 66 is different in different towns but the towns I went to the honed in on the whole 50’s Rockabilly, retro America and it was so cool. So glad I’ve had the opportunity!10414644_264478147070543_367585004779612053_n
  7. Visit London! I absolutely love London. And Even though it costs an absolute fortune its a really lovely place and its crammed full of things to do.  And I got to visit ‘The making of Harry Potter’ which was another one on my bucket list.underground
  8. So along with adopting a dog, I got the chance to raise not one puppy but two. My first puppy, Walter, was purchased not long after Spot died. My mum and I just felt the house was not the same without a dog. Walter is a Lhasa Apso cross Bichon Frise. He was a little monster but I love him anyway. I then moved out and my mum and Walter did not want to be parted and I got that sinking ‘house doesn’t feel right’ feeling again. So along came Henry. He’s a Chihuahua cross Yorkshire terrier and he is even more of a little monster. I love them both so much.
  9. Go to a festival. Right ok so the festival was great, I enjoyed the music. I hated the camping. ALL of my belongings were stolen, someone weed in my tent, I had to buy a second hand sleeping bag, I was cold, wet and weeing in a trough. If I ever go to a festival again I will be making sure I am in a caravan that I can lock and feel safe in!272389_10152040208965247_2140864214_o
  10. In Year 8 and 9. (Age 13 and 14) I went Skiing in Aprica in Italy. The first year I just mastered the basics and by the end of my holiday I was getting pretty good at it. The second year I was doing some small jumps and going on the red and black slopes. I then proceeded to kick myself in the face with a ski and gave myself concussion for the remainder of the holiday. I didn’t go back for a third year.solden-114740_1280
  11. Gambled in Las Vegas. Well I won $9 and I bet $1 so I feel I did pretty well! I also visited some of the iconic casinos and watched the Bellagio Fountains. They were playing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles when I watched them, so amazing!10458116_264780507040307_5221983892478828406_n
  12. Travel First Class on a plane. I’m lucky enough to have a great friend who works for an airline and sometimes if there is room I get to sneak into first class! I have to admit though it is so uncomfortable having someone wait on you hand and foot. I felt as though I didn’t deserve it at all!1907561_229972613854430_1025143678_n
  13. SOPPY ALERT! I put a love lock on a bridge with someone I am truly madly in love with. It’s not so much the putting the lock on the bridge because me and Martyn are fully aware that by now it has probably been snipped off (even though we searched for a good hiding place) but it was making a commitment to one another (even though it was just a silly lock) it meant a lot to us both.martyn Rochelle London

There is still so much that I want to do and achieve but I feel as though I have achieved a lot in my 24 years of life. Its really nice to take a step back and think about all the things you have done because it can be so easy to get caught up in what you want to to do and forget that you have actually already done so much with your life. Keep your eyes peeled I’m sure I will post my bucket list soon haha! Looking back has just made me want to do more!

Blondes have more fun?

From brunette to blonde. Can it be done? Is it a good idea?

Well let me tell you I am the queen of hairstyles. You name a colour or style I have most probably done it. From boy short to longer than my bum. From accidental pink hair to purposeful purple hair I have tried it all.

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Just a few of the hairstyles and colours…..

The thing with my hair is I get bored of the same thing really quickly. At Christmas I had purple/brown/blonde hair and then went to just plain brunette and that lasted two months and then the sun came out and I felt my hair was too dark so I asked my hair dresser if she would mind making my hair blonde!

Now the area thing about my hair dresser is she has been doing my hair for about 5 years so she knows exactly what I’m like so she tends to say yes on the condition that I don’t bleach the sh*t out of it when she isn’t around.

Yep that happened about two years ago, I had accidentally turned my hair three different shades of red, pink and orange and it took my mum SIXTEEN lots of bleaching my hair until it was back to a normal colour. Yes 16 lots of bleach. I’m not exaggerating you can ask her! And no my hair didn’t fall out (that time) but I did severely burn my scalp.

So back to brunette to blonde. Yes it can be done! But there are certain rules that you should follow.

  1. Do not do it yourself! I cannot stress to you enough how much your scalp hurts. I had blisters, dandruff, burns. It was horrendous. And if that wasn’t painful enough, there is nothing worse than washing off the bleach, taking off that towel and revealing the most horrendous colour. Leave it to a professional!
  2. Don’t expect it to happen straight away. I’ve had highlights put through this time, I will have more put through next time, and then the third time I will have the whole of my hair done.
  3. Buy silver shampoo and get over the fact it may look brassy for a little while! You are changing your colour from one end of the spectrum to the other so its not going to happen over night and there will be some gingery yellow tones, it’s ok! They are called “warm tones” 😉
  4. Look after your hair. Lay off the straighteners! Now I’ve started going blonde I have two weeks of wearing my hair in a bun or a pony tail and letting it dry naturally just so I don’t frazzle it! I also invested in Revlon Professional Uniq One Hair Treatment. You can buy this on feel unique.com. It is a little bit expensive but so so worth it I cannot recommend it highly enough!
  5. Resign yourself to the fact that once you are blonde you have to upkeep your roots every four weeks. Some people can go longer but for me it is four weeks max! If I could afford to have my roots done every 2 weeks I would, but I would be the homeless girl you buy a sausage roll for when your in town who lives in a sleeping bag with the rootless blonde hair!

So thats it really! Just take your time, if it’s a colour you really want you won’t mind waiting to get it right.

How to Become a Print Journalist

18986243_689514771233543_1174516583_oI have searched far and wide for blogs on how to get into journalism.

This is no disrespect to bloggers but I’m talking specifically about a traditional method of journalism; print. I have seen a thousand and one blogs on how to make money from your blog and how to make money from home which is fantastic but if you are anything like me and like the security of having your holidays paid for, sickness days sorted but still want to write…then you have come to the right place.18987340_689514221233598_923519493_o

I have come up with a ten step plan to help you get ahead in print journalism.

Step One : Take yourself seriously.
If print journalism is something you are really passionate about then make sure you take the necessary steps to prove to yourself and to potential employees that you are serious about this subject. Read books on print journalism and make sure you have a good knowledge. I recommend “The Journalist’s Handbook” by Kim Fletcher.

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This book is AMAZING!

It’s a really inspiring read. Also you can take a course or educate yourself online and make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself in for. Print journalism is not a stress and care free job and it takes a lot if will power and determination to even get into the field let alone stay there.

Step Two: Cultivate an interest in current affairs
Oh you hate watching the news? Well hate to be the one to tell you this but half of the news that is reproduced by newspapers is just that. REPRODUCED. you have to watch the news, listen to the radio, trawl the internet and generally be an informed person. You should be watching the news ideally once a day, and making sure you are up to date with all public and current affairs.

Step Three: Leave your comfort zone
Speak to people you don’t know or join a class to find more friends and generally become a more informed and more rounded person. Journalists need to be friendly , approachable and easy to talk to so why not get some practise in?\

Step Four: Get some Contacts. 
That old saying “It’s not what you know it’s who you know” is one of the most important things you will learn as journalist. I cannot stress enough that you need to make sure you have an address book or a way of logging peoples information. I’m talking about everyone you meet! Make sure you get a number or an email and log it because you never know when you will need a quote from someone in a certain field.

Step Five: Get a blog.
Make sure you don’t lose sight of what you want to do…write. Blogs are a great way to link to other people too. You have the whole of the internet at your fingers and it is a greatly of showcasing what you can do writing wise too. Interviews love to see portfolios and even better if your portfolio is a digital one.

Step Six: Learn to gather material.
So it’s not just about speaking to people on the street, it’s about speaking to people relevant to your story. A news story in it’s most basic terms is; Go out into the world, find something newsworthy, capture it and publish it. But make sure the information in-between those steps is both relevant, true informative and entertaining.

Step Seven: Brush up your writing skills.
Surely it goes without saying but newspapers will only be hiring people who are able to write well. It would be beneficial to take a course and learn the format of a newspaper article. If you have not gone to university to study it, try and fine a distant learning course than can teach you this.

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Tried to draw an infographic, I’ll stick to writing.

Make sure you check for silly things like spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

Step Eight: Gain Work Experience
Start with something modest. if you are at school, the school paper. College or university, your local paper. Older than that… definitely your local paper! Why have you not tried there sooner? In journalism it’s all about working your way up and there is nothing wrong with that. It makes you value your job more.

Step Nine: Build a Portfolio.
Work experience plus your blog means you will have a pretty hefty portfolio. Make sure you showcase your best work and nothing that may come off as mediocre. Your portfolio should show the type of journalist you are and who you want to be. Pick out pieces with a by line or blogs you had a lot of hits on.

Step Ten: Find paid work.
This means spamming all networks possible, or it did for me. I used websites such as holdthefrontpage.co.uk or indeed if you search for the right thing. The main tip I can give you here is: when you get interviews to make sure portfolio is professional and make sure the real you shows through. They want to see that you are a nice friendly person that they can trust to be the face of the paper.

I hope that was helpful to anyone who wanted any advice. If anyone has anymore questions please leave a comment below.

Five Reasons You Should Quit Your Job NOW

Last month I landed a job that I’ve wanted for a lot of years. It took a lot of guts to make the move but I’m so happy I did it.

I’ve heard and made every excuse under the sun to stay somewhere where I’m miserable but I’ve now realised that life is too short to stay somewhere you are unhappy.

My mum has commented on several occasions on how much of a different person I am now I actually enjoy my work.

She’s said “You were miserable grumpy moaning little sh**, but now I’ve not heard one bad word. You were always so miserable on a Sunday because you knew you were back at work the next day but now you look forward to it. It’s so nice to see.”

So anyone who knows me or my mum knows that she doesn’t mince her words, and yes, quitting my job was the best decision I could have ever made not just for myself but for my family and my relationship too.

You spend a good chunk of your life in employment, a third of your day is spent in the confines of your job, approximately 40 hours a week with your colleagues.

Please do not think you are alone in hating your job. You’re not. But you need to do something about it before it has an even more negative effect on your life.

Here are some excuses I have heard/previously used and why they are absolute nonsense

1) If I quit they win.

This is the whole winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win saying and its absolute rubbish. Who’s winning? While you stay in your job miserable your boss isn’t winning, you’re not winning by wasting your life? There is no shame in leaving a job that you are unhappy in because you are the leader of your own life and you need to take control.

2) I can’t quit I need money.

I have been in some pretty dire situations money wise and I’m not suggesting its always been the most sensible reason to quit but your health is worth way more than your salary. And we are fortunate enough in the UK that we have a safety net to fall back on. We pay our national insurance whilst in employment incase the unthinkable happens and we find ourselves without a job. And while I am not suggesting the job centre is a long term security, it’s there for dire circumstances while you pursue a suitable career.

3) Everywhere will be the same.

Pooh pooh.
Everywhere is not the same. Every where is completely different, and you’d be surprised how much your attitude can affect your environment. If you are a positive and pleasant person you will find that you will be treated with the same respect. There are so many great places to work, and if you don’t like the office environment, find something in retail. If you don’t like a customer facing role, look into manufacturing or behind the scenes role. There is always something.

4) Things might improve

Yep, you’re right. And you might get a pay rise. And your horrible boss might quit. Or your annoying co-worker might quit.
Or you might continue to wait for these things and before you know it two more years have passed and you are still stuck in your rut of a job. Waiting for something is counter productive, if you want things to change you have to actively make that happen, not sit around and wait for someone to change it for you.

5) I’ll lose contact with the nice people at work.

If they are truly nice, and they are more than colleagues they will stay in touch, just as you will with them. If you are truly unhappy at work and cannot stand your job they will understand and respect your decision.

 

Ultimately staying in a job you hate is not good for your health, your family or for your self esteem. Workplace stress is one of the biggest hazards in the work place. It causes you to be lethargic and lack energy and robs you of the ability to make healthy decisions. If you truly hate your job, I recommend getting out of there as soon as possible, and never looking back.

If you are struggling with making a decision make sure you speak to someone close to you or if your job is making you feel really low please speak to a GP.

Henry at the fountain in Central Park

25 Things That Make Me Happy

I’m making a stand to be/feel/act more positive so in honour of this new found self respect I am going to give you all a list of 25 things that make me happy. I think sometimes in this ‘first world problems’ life we lead we forget that there is so much around us to smile about.

  1. The dogs I have the pleasure to be around. I love that they are genuinely happy to see you regardless of what mood your in, whether you’ve showered or not, whether you’re wearing make up or look like a tramp. They see past all that and just love you, how can that not make you happy?
  2. My Mum, who has spent her whole life putting me first, and who I try and repay by making her laugh, and doing the very best I can to be a good person a daily basis.
  3. My friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin, through all the tears, tantrums and laughs and are till always at the other end of the phone whenever I need them and who I can bother with any strange or bizarre thought that crosses my mind and know that it will be kept in complete confidence.
  4. Martyn, who takes it upon himself to make me laugh every day regardless of my mood or his. How can that not make me happy?
  5. My family who know that even though I may not get to see them as much as I ought to still always welcome me with open arms and a brew.
  6. Sunny days, of course they make everyone happy but I just love that a sunny day opens up so many opportunities! Which leads me to…
  7. Road trips. I love packing up the car with essentials and just heading off anywhere, as far as your fuel tank can manage.
  8. New hair styles where you feel re-invented and like you can take on anything. And you wait in anticipation for someone to notice so you can say “Yeah I just fancied a change…” and look all brave and courageous.
  9. Writing; very apt I suppose but it does feel so good to just put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and just let it flow out.
  10. Music. Sometimes the only thing that can really express how you are feeling and there is nothing better than just cutting loose and letting your hair down to your favourite song.
  11. Takeaways. Now this is a bit of an odd one for me because I am always on a constant diet but I love those nights where you’ve been looking forward to a takeaway all day and you know you can comfort eat and watch…
  12. Movies/TV. I mean this can make you feel a whole load of things but I like that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you get really into a series or you watch a scary  film with the other half, or a rom com with your friend.
  13. Nights Out, now I don’t do this very often at all! But the whole lead up to night out makes me happy. The preparation, the hair the make up the outfit, the pre drinks the music the spending time with the girls! I love it!
  14. Chocolate. I’m a girl. Enough said.
  15. Travelling. I absolutely love exploring so don’t care where I go I just love discovering new places and new things to see.
  16. Photos. I love pretending I’m some type of David Bailey character when in actual fact I have no idea what I’m doing. Give it a good go because I love finding that gem of a photograph.
  17. Books, because its a little adventure that doesn’t cost anything. You can open a book and literally be anywhere in the world, be anyone you want to be. You get to half create the story in your mind and whats not to like about that?
  18. My job. Now I’m really lucky to feel like this but it has been a really journey to get here. I have worked my arse off to get where I am and gone through countless jobs that make me miserable but there is a real sense of zen when you are on your way to work and not dreading it.
  19. Compliments. Now before you all think I’m vain or whatever I love hearing someone acknowledge that I’ve done something different, or that they value my outfit choice, or they’ve noticed I’ve lost weight and in turn it makes me happy. I don’t expect them but its nice when I do get them 🙂
  20. Coffee. I would say I’m probably about 90% coffee. All fluids in my body have been replaced with coffee. I drink so much coffee that it doesn’t give me a buzz anymore it just lets me function. But the coffee I’m talking about is the coffee you get when you’re in a shop or cafe or hotel or something, not Nescafe you have it home. Yum!
  21. Fireworks. Bonfire night is my absolute favourite time of year, even though I’m a cold person, and I’m talking really cold, today it was 22 degrees outside and I still asked if the office minded if out the heating on. But any I digress. Fireworks always make me feel excited for Christmas, and remind me of being a kid and now its my anniversary with Martyn so more reasons for it to make me happy!
  22. Giving Gifts when you have spent ages thinking about what to get someone and getting to see their face when you give them it. I love knowing that you’ve got someone just what they wanted.
  23. Clothes that have just come out of the dryer/just been ironed. Oh wow that is what I live for. There is nothing better than the feeling of warm cotton on your legs!
  24. And while we are on the subject of washing…. Freshly washed bedding. I love getting in bed pulling the quilt up to my chin and smelling wash powder and it feeling all smooth
  25. When my house is clean. I’m not talking about the actually tidying or cleaning I’m talking about the end result when you look round and there is nothing more to do and you don’t know what to do with yourself. That makes me so giddy. I just sit on the corner of my sofa and admire it, or take pictures and send it to my mum so she can compliment me on how well I’ve done! I know how sad that makes me sound.

I know that some of these are weird and out there but I think it’s really important to be aware of what makes you happy. I think you can get stuck in a rut of focusing on the negatives when really there is always a lot of things to smile about.

Leave a comment of any weird and wonderful things that make you smile.